Nehemiah 8:9 (MSG) Nehemiah the governor, along with Ezra the priest and scholar and the Levites who were teaching the people, said to all the people, “This day is holy to GOD, your God. Don’t weep and carry on.” They said this because all the people were weeping as they heard the words of The Revelation.10 He continued, “Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything: This day is holy to God. Don’t feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!”
Great leaders rise to the occasion at the opportune time.
Nehemiah, the great rebuilder of Jerusalem, is a great example in the Bible of leadership, faith, and unshakable commitment.
He didn’t let the huge task of the long-delayed restoration of Jerusalem discourage him. He realized that it was never too late for God’s people to begin the process.
He took direct and forceful action. His faith, wisdom, and courage kept him focused on his goal. He was determined to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
He faced foreign opposition and discord among his own people, but the wall was completed in just fifty-two days. An incredible feat (Nehemiah Chapter 6)!
Soon after this victory, Nehemiah directed the people toward the second phase of restoration.
He called upon the great teacher Ezra to lead the people in a study of the Scriptures. Confronted by God’s word, they were soon in tears because they could see the truth of how far they’d strayed from God’s law.
They confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They accepted responsibility for generations of unfaithfulness on the part of their people and grieved openly before God.
With God, it’s never too late to rebuild your life.
When Nehemiah returned to Babylon, the people returned to their sinful ways. Nehemiah found himself once again putting the Jews back on the right path.
This example of short-term restoration shows how prone we are to drifting away from what’s right if we’re not held accountable.
The encouragement: it wasn’t too late to rebuild the wall, and it’s not too late to rebuild your life.
If we lose our awareness of God and begin to think and act as if He does not exist, God often allows painful reminders of our need for Him, just as He did with the nation of Israel.
Many cause-and-effect sequences are recorded in Scripture for our instruction and warning.
When we experience specific difficulties in our lives, we should discern if they are consequences of sin.
Once we respond to our sin with the Lord, the Lord has a way of responding to us, as we hear in today’s compelling message.
Point to ponder
Begin today by doing the next right thing. If we could only perceive the final cost of our sin, we would shrink from committing it.
Therefore, in His mercy, God exposes secret sin, and He allows others to see its devastating consequences. In this way, we are warned not to be fooled by “the pleasures of sin,” which last for a season. (Hebrews 11:25).
- What part of your life do you need to rebuild?
- Have you forgotten the great things the Lord has done for you?
- Do you see any parallels from today’s message and your life?
- How often do read God’s Word and feel convicted like the children of Israel did in today’s message?
- What kind of leader are you?
Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of February 2019 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Mrs. Lola Moore, Ms. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, Mother Betty Denson, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Mrs. Denise Johnson, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.